The 1980 version of Brave New World mostly followed the book to a large extent. Although one major difference is that I learned a lot about Linda’s and Tom (the Director of Hatchery) relationship and past. The movie initiates with Tom being introduced before he was the Director while Linda was working in the Hatchery. We are introduced to how their relationship began which lead to them going to the Savage Reservation, and here was where Linda gave birth to John. By them including these scenes it causes a viewer which has not read the book to understand more what is really going on and see how the society had underlying cracks and issues. Sadly in the book all of this was just mentioned throughout but never went deeply in depth yet in the film they spent about one hour focused on the past. Just this difference allowed me to learn more about the Director and Linda’s characters and see how the complete story is developed behind John’s character and their relationship.
In this film they also had a heavy emphasis on the presence of Ford and what is considered as their religion. Throughout the film the characters did the sign of the “T” and always mentioned Ford, and not only did they mention him but they also explained why they believed in Ford. Mustapha Mond began to explain why Ford was someone to admire and worship and explain how the World State had overcome and become the great intellectual and advanced society they are. Mond mentioned all of this while he was in a room surrounded by other citizens, yet in the book a lot of these concepts were mentioned while the children were given a tour around the Hatchery. This slight difference causes us to focus more on Mond as the authoritative figure and learn the reason for which the World State is the way they are without focusing on other aspects such as getting the tour.
Bernard Marx as an infant was also seen in this version of the film, and how at such a young age he was already seen as different thus making him an outsider. He even challenged the person which was conditioning. This information of Marx being rebellious at a young age was never mentioned in the book yet this difference allowed viewers to emphasize more on how Bernard was different from everyone else in the World State.
The was one part in which did me wondering, and that was how Mond was overlooking over everything from Tom going to the Savage Reservation to John being filmed by Bonaparte in the lighthouse. To me this made me feel as if this was all like a strategy game in which he planned all the parts and new the outcomes but just wanted to see everything happen. For example in the book it was not mentioned that Mond had sent Bonaparte to create a film which would he would use to John look “ridiculous” and a laughing stock to the World State. Or even the fact that Mond placed him in a lighthouse which was under supervision by guards and his knowledge. In the book John discovered the lighthouse on his own and the “paparazzi” found him in which he then decided to create the videos. This difference makes Mond appear more controlling over John and all the decisions being made. Even in remote areas outside the World State such as the deserted lighthouse.
Overall I really enjoyed this 1980 adaptation much more compared to the 1998 version. This version have me more of a “behind the scenes” on characters in which I did not give much importance while reading the book, such as Linda. This 1980 adaptation was generally following the book word by word and to me seem more realistic and easier to follow.
While watching Brave New World the 1998 version, I was felt a little disappointed since I noticed a lot of changes and felt as if the book was a million times better. The first difference that I noticed, and that took me by surprise was that Bernard Marx is never really seen as a complete outsider. He is seen as a “normal” citizen and is somewhat recognized and it his transformation is never shown. In my opinion I felt as if this gave a whole new outlook on the movie. Bernard in the book is immediately portrayed as an outsider and different especially physically, and when we focused on his transformation it felt more dramatic and shows his character on both ends of the spectrum. Sadly in the movie due to him not being portrayed this way caused him to be more of a supporting character instead of the main character. We are never shown the internal complexities and issues which Bernard faced in the book and this also causes the plot to become malleable since there is less importance to everything in the movie.
There were also other major absences such as the presence and mentioning of Ford and Helmholtz Watson. Not mentioning Ford was a huge difference since the whole purpose of the society was with the presence/belief of Ford. Yet in the movie he was not even mentioned once, although we were shown the assembly line in the film. In the film there was no religious belief and this deviated from the book since Ford was one of the underlying important focuses of the book. By not having Ford in the film there is an absence of how the society has progressed and how their belief in Ford is centered in their daily lives, actions and beliefs. Meanwhile by Helmholtz also not being present in the film also does not show how a law-abiding citizen could also change so drastically and show how the World State was facing many issues. Helmholtz was a troubled character which internally knew that he was different and this aspect allowed us to see many issues with the World State, yet due to his absence in the film we never had a chance to observe the inside works of the World State.
I also feel as if the Savage Reservation was never really shown into detail or explained in the film. We are shown a small glimpse but it is not enough for the viewer to really know how it is used to show the difference between the advanced and intellectual World State versus the primitive people of the Savage Reservation. By Aldous Huxley having this in his book, it allowed for the existence of the dystopia and showed how the World State was great and almighty when compared to the savage and primitive people of the Reservation. This setting was also great since in the book we were able to gain a better understanding of Linda’s and John’s life and roles there and also served as a point in which we would be able to see their change once they went to the World State. Yet all of this in nonexistent since the Reservation was never a focused setting in the film, therefore it causes us not to question the World State and the whole cast of characters.
There were various differences between the book and the film such as John having a last name in the film (copper), Lenina becoming the main character and her being receptive to trying and learning new things from John the savage. Overall I think I will stick with the book, I enjoyed it much more and it was richer in detail compared to the 1998 film version.
In “We” by Yevgeny Zamyatin, D-503 whom is a law abiding citizen of the One State which changes his perspectives due to emotions. D-503 the builder of the Integral and currently keeping entries which are meant to “bring mathematical infallible happiness” (1) to the reader of the journal yet as time passes by and he meets I-330 in which he is emotional involved. I-330 was one of the reasons for which he began a passage of change to a whole new different individual. He changed to the point in which lost the true purpose of keeping entries which was to promote the One State, yet now it has become a journal in which he express is most intimate and emotional entries.
D-503 began to break rules after meeting I-330 such as not reporting her to the Guardians or not obeying the table of hours due. I-330 answered some of the internal questions he had lately due to him discovering a side of him, which he did know of before, this happened also while he felt the need to spend time with her.
“I cannot understand why I did not go to the Office of the Guardians” (35).
“I cannot live without her” (85). “I could not bear it any longer! Where have you been?”(97)
By falling in love with I-330 and beginning to realize he had all these emotions and sense of self in a society which constricted these, he became sick. This was a moment in which he discovered he had a soul, something with was never seen or discussed publicly yet it was an underlying issue in the One State. By D-503 having a soul he began to change even more his entries, from praising the One State to emotional entries and allowed him to be more receptive to the new ideas which I-330 gave him.
“You’re in a bad way! Apparently, you have developed a soul.” (89)
“I am saddened to see that, instead of a harmonious and strict mathematical poem in honor of the One State, I am producing some sort of a fantastic adventure novel” (103)
Throughout the story D-503 began to explore his true self, yet at the end when he finds out he was used by I-330 his whole world has come apart. Once again by feeling anger and other emotions he decided to return to the One State and forget everything he has lived through most importantly I-330.
While finishing reading the final chapters of “We” by Yevgeny Zamyatin, D-503 went through various emotional and mental changes. D-503 starts off on chapter 27 by going to the other side of the Green Wall and seeing a whole new world, and by him experiencing this first hand caused him to feel more liberated and true to self. By this point he began to separate himself from the One State and began to change his way of thinking. He went from being a member of a society in which he was just a speck among a whole to someone which had a sense of self identity “I was a separate entity, a world. I had ceased to be a component, as I had ben, and become a unit” (157). D-503 starts off in the book by being an exemplary citizen of the One State yet by beginning to feel separated from the society and with the wave of emotions he starts to feel since he met I-330, he ended up joining the people from the other side of the Green Wall which are considered as the “rebels.”
As the book progresses I noticed how D-503 changes his style of writing, he started off by being a law abiding citizen. Now he is an individual which is writing very emotional and intimate entries, which he himself consciously knows which he confesses on page 160. I find outstanding since it shows how someone of great intellectual and social status whom always followed the One State can change so much internally that he confesses his change of perspectives. D-503 also began to deny the existence and respect to the Benefactor, in which the Benefactor is the representation of the One State. I noticed this on the following quote “oh, for the sake…for the sake…” (163), this was an action in which he removed “for the sake of the Benefactor” and tried to replace it with a meaning of his own.
In the end of the book he began to go back to respect and became a member of the One State, which I find somewhat hypocritical since he went through all this change in character yet went back to being what he was in the beginning, a law abiding citizen. It seems to be that whenever emotions or a discovery of new evidence is present, it is a moment in which D-503 changes, because of I-330 he discovered another life, adventurous and the bad aspects of the One State. Yet when the Benefactor says “You, who were to have become the greatest of conquistadors” (212) along with finding out the truth behind I-330 was a big tipping point which caused him to react by returning to the “nurturing” One State. Not only did he return to the society, he proceeded with the Great Operation.
Overall I am happy to finally be done with book, honestly I did not enjoy it as much as I hoped. Yet it was somewhat interesting to see how D-503 developed throughout the book, due to emotions affecting him such as being with I-330. Although when I read the last sentence “Because Reason must prevail” (232) it took me a little by surprise since in the beginning of the book it was said that knowledge and happiness was the goal which they wanted to spread.
Upon continuing the reading of this book I noticed how D-503 has completely changed, in the beginning we were introduced to a person which followed all the rules and appeared to be an exemplar citizen of the One State. Now upon reading these entries he has become an internally conflicted character. To me personally, I feel as if D-503 is a lunatic at times with all his confusion and all of his sudden expression of emotions and actions in these entries all because of I-330. D-503 is also know learning about a thing called “soul” something which he had not heard in years something which never existed until he went to the Ancient house with I-330. I also noticed how D-503 spent many entries just expressing his emotions and how he felt different.
He also began to have very strong emotional attachment with I-330 and he became obsessed with her “My heart, fast and light as an aero […] I knew- some joy awaited me tomorrow” (We 91). He knew he had some type of feelings for her which he did not comprehend and this was shown throughout his entries. He also began to use words which expressed an emotional attachment such as “darling” to call for I-330 which showed some personal ownership (She was his love).
Through many entries D-503 went from explaining the norms of the One State and how the society function, to his personal sensations and feelings “I am saddened to see that, instead of a harmonious and strict mathematical poem in honor of the One State, I am producing some sort of a fantastic adventure novel” (We 103). D-503 himself lets us know straight forward that he has lost track of the true purpose of keeping this journal, which purpose was to educate and bring happiness and progress to the primitive reader yet know it is all about D-503 and himself with the One State put to the side.
D-503 went from attending social activities such as the daily walks to now searching for personal time in which he can be alone. This simple act alone shows various things such as him breaking the One State’s norms while changing his values “Everyone else was in the auditoriums, as prescribed by the Table of Hours, and only I was alone.” (We 103).
Towards the final entries D-503 began to remind himself the true purpose behind keeping his journal which was to basically promote the One State values for a takeover. He began to explain a ceremony which is going to be held and more of his surroundings.
I did notice the following when D-503 was taken to the doctor’s office and the following was said “I’ll tell you in confidence-you are not the only one […] about an epidemic” (We 91). This gave a glimpse of how there were more people “suffering” of having a soul in the One State and this shows a very small crack in this civilization, and which now D-503 will take part in. I am also looking forward to see if there will be other glimpse of some issues which One State faces, yet the citizens do not know of.
Upon reading We by Yevgeny Zamyatin I observed that they gave huge value and importance to logic and math. They considered this to be the essence to their society and their actions, to the point that they it is worshiped and respected and anything seen without the intervention of mathematics is seen as filthy “Hence you see how the great power of logic purifies everything it touches” (Zamyatin 22). Even a simple and natural action such as sex is controlled through numbers and math such as the Table of sexual days. On the top of page 22 we see how society controls the people and we also see the presence of the Table, which originated from the Sexual Department and they go through a whole numerical process in which they determine the sexual days. The narrator (D-503) also compares sex/pink slips to a shape, and this shape being a square. The square signified equality (such as the 4 angles being equal and the 4 sides equal in length) and tells us the reader how this can cause confusion “Take the pink coupons for example [..], to me, this is as natural as […] the square” (Zamyatin 20). By Zamyatin stating this, and making it feel as if it was a face to face conversation and stating his entries to me caused it to seem more realistic.
D-503 even mentions how math, specifically algebra has solved the issues faced by the world such as hunger. “Naturally, having conquered Hunger (algebraically)” (Zamyatin 21) shows how they consider their ability to solve major issues such as hunger as not a big deal. This once again proved how mathematics is considered above everything and is seen as progression and valued in the Once State.
There is also a vast amount of examples of standardizations throughout the One State such as everyone marching with their uniforms “thousands of numbers, in pale blue unifs” (Zamyatin 5). Even the concept of time is seen very exact “In half a minute she’ll be here, for our daily walk” (Zamyatin 5) by this Zamyatin shows how every detail is very important, down to the second and how the people follow a routine.
Another aspect which took me by surprise was how the individuals in the story are not given names, but rather numbers/letters such as D-503 whom is the builder of the Integral, or I-330. So far as I see it, it seems that there isn’t much of personal identity. Since instead of names they refer to each other by numbers or letters, which to me it makes me think that they try to make a separation and sense of self and see each other as objects. While reading this book I kept on thinking of “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, one difference that I noticed was that so far in this book not everyone knows each other “on my right, two numbers I did not know, male and female” (Zamyatin 5), yet in Huxley’s work we observed how many of the characters knew each other due to the promiscuous relationships.
The ending of this story did not leave me very satisfied, there were a couple of parts which confused me which I had to read more than once especially everything John went through and the last two chapters. Although I finally found answers to the few lingering questions I had picked up while reading the book, such as the rumors of Mustapha Mond having a room which contained historical artifacts.
Early on in the book we are told of rumors that Mustapha Mond possibly having a room which contained prohibited material from the past such as bibles and other literature, yet it was rumor which is never entirely verified or rejected. My question was finally answered on chapters 16 and 17 “room and was unlocking a large safe set into the wall between the bookshelves” (Huxley 206); “A whole collection of pornographic old books. God in the safe and Ford on the shelves” (Huxley 207). These quotes proved the rumors to be true of Mond having a collection of old books just for his own amusement and pleasure. From this point Mond and John The Savage begin to connect in a more intimate level, they share a love of old literature such as Shakespeare and both agree his work to be exceptional. Mond agreed his approval of Shakespeare explicitly “Of course it is, the Controller agreed [Othello]”, when John said that Othello was better than the feelies. This not only shows Mond’s respect towards old literature but also we see a small internal conflict which he creates and approves the rules which society follows such as the prohibition of novel ideas such as the paper sent to him for approval on the middle of page 162. Yet he internally admires and is intrigued by the past and its literature and there was also a part in which he himself has issues on approving and disapproving laws and concepts which will be handed to the citizens.
Through these chapters we also learn a lot more about Mond’s personal life such as what are the responsibilities as a controller in the World Sate, and evens Mond’s desire to go to the island and live with the people who had a sense of individuality. This desire he has goes against a major rule in society which was against solitude and free thinking. This made me think of Mond as a hypocrite since he has the responsibility to make the rules and as his title states, control society yet he has an internal desire of being different and having the freedom to do as he wants and this was shown on the third paragraph on page 204 where Mond explains why being on the island was good.
Questions about how society is controlled and very restricted the reasons for which citizens do not know or taught of old literature or history. Historical items are not released to the public due to the fear of it destabilizing the society which has been built to go against all the norms and issues faced in the past such as civil wars and uproars “Every change is a menace to stability…even science must sometimes be treated as a possible enemy.” (Huxley 202). As it was mentioned right from the first sentence in the first chapter “World States motto, Community, Identity, Stability” (Huxley 15) so anything affecting stability is a huge problem, such as the mention of God or even Shakespeare’s work. “Knowledge was the highest good, truth the supreme value; all the rest was secondary and subordinate” (Huxley 205) also shows how at one point everything was completely different to what the society followed now.
While reading chapters 10-13 I noticed a whole new side to Bernard. In the earlier chapters I never questioned his authenticity until now. Before he would not take soma or undergo social activities and would spend time alone “I’d rather be myself, he said. Myself and nasty. Not somebody else, however jolly” (Huxley 89) yet now we see him taking soma to detach himself from facing issues and emotions “he thought better of it and took four tablets of soma” (Huxley 161).
Our first interaction with the new Bernard is found in chapter 10 in which the Director tries to humiliate and transfer Bernard to Iceland yet Bernard stands up to him and flips the coin around. He ended up “humiliating” and causing the Director to quit his job due to news of him fathering a child in the Savage Reservoir. At this point we start to see an emotionally stronger, standing up for himself while also having the spotlight on him “Yes, I can. Bernard answered in a very loud voice” (Huxley 139).
I began to notice a whole new Bernard once chapter 11 began, it was a Bernard which was popular and talked about in a good way throughout the place as if he had made a great discovery. At this point he began to live off the hype of bringing John and Linda to the World State and began to live a celebrity life while partaking at the normal/usual male activities done in the society. Before he was rarely sleeping around with various women, yet now he has a women for each night of the week “And I had six girls last week, he confided to Helmholtz Watson” (Huxley 145). By Bernard having John’s custody and presenting him to important people and places in the World State; Bernard has gain huge popularity and is considered important, he no longer seen as an outcast and he himself shows us that his sense of ego has increased “Bernard now found himself, for the first time in his life, treated not merely normally, but as a person of outstanding importance” (Huxley 144). This was the point in which I knew Bernard’s authenticity is questioned and how he always had this need of trying to fit in with society’s standards. Other characters also began to “respect and admire” Bernard, such as Fanny. Early in the story Fanny and other characters felt pity and found him queer yet now he is portrayed as sweet, desired and intelligent. This was Bernard’s king of the hill moment he had everything he could want, all thanks to John and Linda. Bernard became a character who thrived off John’s and Linda’s existence, and this I found very immoral.
The most surprising part from the reading was to find out John not going to the party to be introduced to the important people in society, the elites such as the Arch-Community-Songster. This caused the party to fall apart and the invited people to once again begin to degrade Bernard once again. Bernard was desperate and foresaw all of his popularity, social status and thrives slipping through his fingers “The intoxication of success had evaporated” (Huxley 163). At this point we officially see Bernard’s internal need of being recognized. This internal conflict which he had faced is now superficial and shown to us to place Bernard back to outcast character which was presented in the beginning. This is also observed when he wakes up from taking soma and John is happy to see him back at his humble sense of being “You’re more like what you were at Malpais” (Huxley 163), even Helmholtz is somewhat happy to have his old friend back. Yet Bernard is not happy about looking his luscious life. These couple of chapters are a roller coaster ride for Bernard’s character, and looking forward to what will happen in the following chapters.
I found these three chapters very interesting yet at the same time confusing. First of all in chapter 6 we begin to learn more about Bernard Marx, Lenina gives her perspective about him and Bernard himself talks about why he considered himself to be different. I found this great since in a single chapter Huxley shows how this character (Bernard) is different compared to all the humans in the society and his actions and mentality is what separates him from everyone else. “More on my own, not so completely a part of something else. Not just a cell in the social body” (Huxley 90), to me he is now definitely considered as the “other” to me and is separated from the social life in which everyone lives. Bernard decides not to take soma, thrive off pleasure and not participating in public actions and Huxley shows us this “That mania, to start with, for doing thing in private” (Huxley 88). He seems to be the only one whom really desires, questions and wants freedom to be an individual not part of a pack “in spite of his misery absolutely refused to take the half-gramme…’I’d rather be myself’”(Huxley 88)
I also noticed that Huxley used a lot of descriptive imagery whenever he wanted to describe a setting or a very important event, such as the Savage Reservoir, or the event in which they whipped the child or John describing his memories as a child. To be honest I think Huxley does a great job using this technique and allowing us the reader to attach and perceive through the characters eyes.
John was a very interesting character in my opinion, he is the son of a beta (Linda) but born at the reservoir. When he began to tell his memories to Bernard once again we are given imagery to describe but what really surprised me was when John started to compare life in the ‘other side’ (what Linda has told him) and his life at the reservoir. This comparison is seen starting from the middle of the page, I found this great since not only does Huxley compare both settings for us but also gave us an insight through John’s perspective and how The Great States. Values were all the opposite in the pueblo. Then we see Linda’s consequences to trying to live the life of a beta in the reservoir, the women of the pueblo beat her up and even hit John due to Linda sleeping with the men of the pueblo.
In the pueblo is viewed as uncivilized, un-sanitized, filthy just plain wrong from Lenina’s point of view. Yet the Great State is seen as civilized and correct and this comparison was very apparent. Even Linda explains how she initially sees the whole pueblo as unbearable “I remember how it used to upset me, all that dirt, and nothing being aseptic” (Huxley 114). At this point I found it very impressive how we were initially introduced to a technologically advanced society, prosperous, young and joyful. Yet life at the pueblo is completely different. Life there is more natural, rural and less prosperous, we even learn that Linda tried to condition John just as it was done in the Great State but it was hard due to their new life style and customs, “Which was a good thing in a way,because it made it easier for me to condition him a little” (Huxley 115).
Upon reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, we are introduced to this utopian world which is described in vast imagery throughout each chapter. In the first chapter Huxley describes the society as well as how babies are made in test tubes. While the Director of the Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre is giving the tour to the students of the ‘factory’ Huxley gave us vivid imagery to describe the conception and growth process as well as the surroundings. I say vivid since he made you feel as if you were part of the tour, Huxley even used sounds “Whizz and then click! The lift-hatches flew open” (Huxley, 20). The dialogue between characters such as the director and Mr. foster also gave us an understanding of how position was important and there was respect between people and at the same time made it more believable. Various literary techniques were also used such as similes to give a better visualization, “Like chickens drinking, the students lifted their eyes towards the distant ceiling” (Huxley, 22). Repetition was also used to empathize important dialogue or numerical significance.
Towards the middle of chapter one we also learn a lot about the social and political structure in this world, humanity is divided into categories such as Alpha, Beta, Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons (from smartest and most advanced down to the ones with less intelligence). In this society it is mentioned that the state and the center have full power and control over the rules and decisions being made such as deciding the future of each newborn and its role in society. Just this action alone gave me the taught that this society valued more the goal as a civilization rather than individuality, this was also emphasized by the Director “We condition the masses to hate the country” (Huxley, 31) so there is not much individually therefore freedom is a little conditioned. In the developmental stages they already start to prepare them physically as well as physiologically for the lives they are to have. Such as a technique they used which consisted of a bowl of flowers and a book and them trying to train the child on what decisions to make. This action reminded me of a psychological experiment conducted by Ivan Pavlov in regards to conditioned reflexes. Another aspect of this utopian society is all of the standardization, starting from all the created babies looking alike to their only being one language being spoken.
So far I have really enjoyed the way in which Huxley uses imagery to make me feel as if I was there and all of the technological advancements which are out of this world yet a little creepy to see the process through which they created the children and manipulated their early lives. I did have to look up a couple of words since I did not know what they meant and I have a couple of questions, but overall I am enjoying the story and looking forward to where it leads.